I have found that wrong prophecy is not always false prophecy. Rather, it is often true prophecy clouded by presumption or assumption. For example, the well-studied Pharisees and Sadducees knew what God had said in the Law and Prophets about the coming Messiah. Yet, because many added their own presumptions and assumptions to the prophecies, they did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah when He appeared.
“And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19-21 ESV
False prophecy is proclaiming revelation from any source that is not from God. A false prophet is a person who makes it a practice of knowingly and deliberately claiming to speak in the name of the Lord when the source of their prophecy is not the Spirit of the Lord (Jer. 27:14-15). In fact, false prophets are not necessarily inaccurate in what they proclaim. It is simply the spirit behind their prophecy that makes it false, meaning counterfeit (Deu. 18:20). In other words, true prophecy can only come from God; everything else is counterfeit, even if it is accurate (Acts 16:16-18).
True prophecy is proclaiming what God is actually revealing. It is speaking forth what is true in Spirit as God reveals it in spirit, before it is evident in the natural. Prophecy is identifying the seeds God is releasing from Heaven and calling them out by name as the Holy Spirit plants them into the hearts of people (Luke 8:5-15).
Prophecy requires yielding our own will, interpretations, and predisposed beliefs to God in order to release the word from Heaven just as it is released to us. Failing to yield in this way often results in clouding true prophecy with our own presumptions and assumptions.
Presumption is saying what we think God should say. Presumption means to suppose the truth of something because of circumstances, probabilities, or expectations. It is going beyond what God said by adding to it out of our own will. It may arrogantly suppose that we know best what God needs to say in a particular circumstance or into a certain persons life.
Assumption is determining how we think prophecy should be fulfilled. Assumption can mean either to take something for one’s self (assuming responsibility) or to take something for granted without proof (assuming something is true). In other words, it is taking it upon yourself to determine what the outcome of a prophetic word should look like. It may arrogantly suppose that we have an accurate understanding of both current and future circumstances and how everything should play out. Therefore it confines our perspective of how God may fulfill prophecy to the limits of our own imagination.
We all have presumptions and assumptions, and they are not necessarily always wrong. However, we should endeavor to keep them separate from the prophetic revelation God gives us. We must learn to hold them loosely and allow them to be pliable as we stand firm only on the more sure, true prophetic word.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.